1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Cabriolet Coachwork by Pinin Farina Registration no. NMA 857 Chassis no. 915725
'The current Alfa Romeo conceals as beautiful a chassis as ever with four-wheel independent suspension and a six-cylinder twin overhead camshaft un-supercharged engine...' - The Autocar, July 11th 1947. Its Portello factory devastated by wartime bombing, Alfa Romeo did not resume car production until 1946 with, inevitably, a pre-war carry-over, the 6C 2500 in a variety of new guises forming the basis of the Milanese marque's post-war recovery. Destined to be the last of the separate-chassis Alfas, the 2500 had debuted in 1939 and was a development of the preceding 2300. Styled in-house but strongly influenced by Touring, the five-seater Freccia d'Oro (Golden Arrow) sports saloon was built alongside coupe and cabriolet versions featuring bodies by the likes of Pinin Farina, Touring and Ghia, plus a six/seven-seater berlina on a longer wheelbase. The Alfa tradition of building driver's cars par excellence was upheld by the 2500, for although the box-section chassis was no longer state-of-the-art it boasted all-independent suspension, generously-sized brakes, fast-geared steering and an unusually slick column-mounted gearchange. The engine was, of course, the latest version of Alfa's race-developed double-overhead-camshaft 'six', its 2,443cc displacement having been arrived at by enlarging the bore of the 2300. Maximum power ranged from 90bhp in single-carburettor Sport guise to 105bhp in the triple-carburettor Super Sport. Considerably lighter than the saloon, the latter could easily exceed 100mph. The short-wheelbase Super Sport chassis was manufactured until 1951, by which time 383 had been produced. Most of these bespoke, hand-built cars were bodied as Superleggera coupés by Touring, while the remainder received cabriolet coachwork by Pinin Farina. This Alfa Romeo 6C 2500SS carries two-seater cabriolet coachwork by Carrozzeria Pinin Farina. The late 1940s was a period of exceptional creativity for Pinin Farina, the 6C 2500 chassis, especially the Super Sport version, allowing the Italian maestro the freedom to experiment with new lines and design solutions. Indeed, a 6C 2500SS with similar coachwork to that of this car achieved a 1st place award at the Villa d'Este concours in 1949. Chassis number '915725' was finished by the factory on 1st February 1949 and dispatched to SALEM in Paris on 4th July that same year. It was brought to England in January 1950 by its then owner, Colette Lartigue (possibly of the French industrial family) and registered 'NMA 857'. Its third owner William Hamill, a maritime engineer from Scotland, acquired the Alfa in November 1955 and it remained within his family for a number of years, moving to the Midlands. In 1970 the car was bought by Paul Mann, who carried out some refurbishment, including painting it white. Mann stored it in a warehouse in Birmingham's jewellery district for almost 30 years before the current owner bought the car in 2000 and returned it to Scotland. Prior to the vendor's ownership it had not been taxed for the road since June 1967 when the Hamill family sold it. Although very complete, the car required a complete restoration, which has been undertaken over a number of years. It was dismantled down to the chassis and coachwork, which was then stripped to bare metal, exposing Pininfarina's original blue paintwork in the process. The coachwork was found to be in excellent condition and required no repairs in preparation for repainting, which was carried out by Billy Johns at John R Weir in Inverness. All brightwork has either been re-plated or polished by Derby Plating and the interior re-trimmed in the original shade of red leather by Alex Watt & Sons, of Perth. The brakes, suspension, cooling and fuel systems, including the mechanical fuel pump, have all been rebuilt, as have the Borrani wire wheels. All wiring has been replaced, with ancillaries and instruments overhauled where necessary. More recently, the engine has had a comprehensive rebuild at Jim Stokes Workshops, the leading UK specialists in 6C/8C engines, and the car has covered very few miles since its completion in 2009. Work undertaken by Jim Stokes included metal stitched reinforcing of the cylinder block and replacing the head studs with longer ones to provide additional stiffening. New modified con-rods with shell bearings (instead of white metal) and new pistons have been fitted also. The main bearings were re-metalled by Gosnay Engineering early on in the restoration process. The cylinder head has been rebuilt with new valves, seats and guides, with tappet bases laser-welded and reground, and tappet tops reground and DLC coated. The cams have been re-profiled. It was discovered that, because of the design of the oil pick up from the sump, after a lengthy period of storage the oil pump would not collect enough oil to lubricate the bearings, etc sufficiently. To resolve this problem JSW have fitted a 'pre-lube' system, which ensures that correct oil pressure is achieved before the starter is engaged. A modern clutch assembly has been fitted also to aid driveability. Offered with old-style buff logbook, current road fund licence, MoT to April 2011 and Swansea V5, 'NMA 857' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a classic Alfa Romeo eligible for all the most important historic rallies, Concours d'Elegance events and other prestigious gatherings.